Categories One-by-One: Documentary Short

For the films of 2018
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Documentary Short

Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:28 pm

Alright. I've seen all five. Here are my thoughts on them:

Black Sheep is about a young black British man recounting the time he experienced racism in his youth when his family uprooted themselves to move from London to Essex after a young black kid got murdered in their neighborhood. It's an undeniably compelling story which takes on twists and turns which I won't spoil. But it seems small compared to the subject matter of its competitors and some voters may not like its reliance on dramatic recreation.

End Game is from Rob Epstein who have won two Oscars for Documentary before so he's an Oscar veteran. This time, it's about how terminally ill patients and their families are dealing with death, loss and mortality. It's certainly an emotional documentary that will make think about your own mortality. It's very much a downer. It has a shot but it may not win votes from older Academy members who don't appreciate being reminded of their death.

Lifeboat is about volunteers who rescue desperate who risk their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. This film has everything: Beautiful filmmaking, an important issue and human drama. This reminded me of a previous winner in this category, The White Helmets, which is exactly why I think this could be our winner.

A Night at the Garden is about a Nazi rally held in the United States in 1939. It is very brief. Only seven minutes. But it packs a huge impact. I agree with FilmFan720, this will probably get my vote but the fact that it's very short and essentially comprised of archival footage will be detrimental to its victory. But we'll see.

Period. End of Sentence is about educating young girls and women in the rural areas of India where it is considered very taboo about menstruation and tampons. This is the lightest and most uplifting of the five nominees which I think could win it the Oscar because a voter who view all these films in a row would welcome a respite from all the heaviness the other nominees bring. But then again, it could also be detrimental to its chances and might be seen as too slight.

All in all, all the nominees are at least good. Here are my rankings:

According to my personal preference:
1. A Night at the Garden
2. Lifeboat
3. Black Sheep
4. End Game
5. Period. End of Sentence.

According to chances of winning:
1. Lifeboat
2. Period. End of Sentence.
3. End Game
4. A Night at the Garden
5. Black Sheep

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Documentary Short

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:37 am

I'm really baffled by this category this year.

My favorite is probably A Night at the Garden, which I first watched almost over a year ago and has stayed with me since, but it feels a little too short to win here.

I didn't love Black Sheep, but it is certainly topical and that might be enough to push a lot of voters to vote for the political statement of the film.

I thought that End Game might be unbeatable here, both with Oscar favorite Rob Epstein behind it and the Netflix push, who have done well in this category. But Netflix has two movies, and the second one might be more audience friendly.

Period. End of Sentence is certainly the most uplifting, and viewers who have watched all five films might find it a welcome relief (especially if they watch the films in order and see that one last).

Then there is Lifeboat. There have been several refugee stories nominated here in the last few years, but this one stands out from the rest of them for not being AS dreary as they were (there are glimpses of hope). The filmmaking is the most visually striking of all the films, and it certainly packs a punch. I wouldn't be surprised to see it win, but I'll probably predict Period.
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Categories One-by-One: Documentary Short

Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:50 am

The nominees:

Black Sheep
End Game
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence

I've seen three of these and I'll give my brief reviews and rankings once I've seen all of them because they're all accessible online. End Game and Period. End of Sentence are on Netflix. A Night at the Garden is on Vimeo. Lifeboat and Black Sheep are both posted on YouTube: Black Sheep and Lifeboat.

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